Speakers Bureau: Speaking for the Children

Lincoln Public Schools is the second largest public school district in Nebraska, serving over 42,000 students from early childhood and kindergarten through senior year in high school—and at 39 elementary schools, twelve middle schools, six high schools and numerous programs and focus programs. 

In addition to Superintendent Steve Joel, members of the LPS Speaker’s Bureau offer a broad variety of voices in all aspects of public education in the School District, telling the fascinating story of our schools:  addressing the School District’s master facility plan, the value of school athletics, the School District budget, what we want students to learn and how we know they are learning it, and much more.

Speakers tailor their time and topics to the needs of your group, whether it is a community organization, a business or a neighborhood group.  There is no fee for this service, but we suggest advance notice.

Please call us today—and invite us to speak for the children.

Contact Mindy Burbach, Director, Communications for Lincoln Public Schools
Phone: 402-436-1609—Email: mkroth@lps.org

President, Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education

  • The Lincoln Board of Education is working for you
  • The value of public education to our community

Additional members of the Lincoln Board of Education are also available.
For information about our board of education, president and members 
please visit our Board of Education information page.

Matt Larson, Associate Superintendent for Instruction

  • LPS by the Numbers
  • Teaching and Learning in LPS

Liz Standish, Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs

  • School Finance 101
  • Lincoln Public Schools Budget
  • Lincoln Public Schools: Good stewards of our tax money
  • General topics on business and finance

Eric Weber, Associate Superintendent for Human Resources

  • Human Capital
  • Public Sector Benefits
  • Employee and Labor Relations

John Neal, Assistant Superintendent for General Administration and Governmental Relations

  • Lobbying: Why a political subdivision needs one
  • Favorite school district statistics
  • Legislative issues for public education
  • Community Learning Centers/Safe and Successful Kids
  • Eagle Feather Project
  • Athletics
  • TeamMates
  • Pet Therapy
  • How district policies are created

Walter Powell, Equity, Diversity and Multicultural Administrator

  • Cultural diversity with students and staff
  • Multicultural education: What does that mean?
  • Race Relations

Jenny Fundus, Director of Special Education

  • Quality Special Education Programming for students Kindergarten to age 21
  • Aligning teaching strategies and the budget to meet student needs
  • Building capacity of all educators to meet the needs of struggling learners

Takako Olson, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

  • What’s New in Curriculum and Instruction at Lincoln Public Schools
  • How We Develop and Sustain a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum

Josh Jones, Director, The Career Academy

  • Dual Credit Options for High School Students in High Demand Career Pathways
  • The Career Academy works with LPS and SCC to Provide College/Career Options for more than 650 Students
  • School Choice Options at Lincoln Public Schools

Pat Hunter-Pirtle, Director of Secondary Instruction

  • Middle school and high school education
  • Graduation Rate 
  • Future leaders and leadership development

Sarah Salem, Director of Continuous Improvement and Professional Learning

  • Continuous Improvement
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Professional Learning
  • Student Engagement
  • Instructional Coaching
  • Leadership Development

Leslie Eastman, Director of Assessment and Evaluation

  • Classroom Assessment
  • District Assessment Plan
  • NSCAS: State Testing

Nola Derby-Bennett, Director of Lincoln Community Learning Centers

  • Lincoln Community Learning Centers
  • Community Partnerships and Public Education
  • Parent and Neighborhood Engagement

Cindy Schwaninger, Director of Elementary Instruction

  • Teacher Appraisal
  • Leadership Development in LPS
  • Elementary Education in LPS

Russ Uhing, Director of Student Services

  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior
  • Community Partnerships that Support Students

Joe Wright, Director of Security

  • School Safety
  • Threat Assessment/Violence Prevention
  • Community Partnerships Strengthen Student Safety

Linda Hix, Director of Federal Programs

  • English Language Learners
  • Title I

Cara Lucas-Richt, Director of Early Childhood

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Intervention and Special Education for children ages birth to 5
  • Early Development Network

Kirk Langer, Chief Technology Officer

  • Information Security and Data Privacy
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
  • Technology and Learning
  • The Role of CTO: Leading Change

Chris Haeffner, Director of Library Media Services

  • Impact of School Libraries on Our Communities
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Civic Online Reasoning: Online Information Evaluation
  • Copyright and Fair Use
  • Design Thinking: Making & Makerspaces
  • Databases & Scholarly resources: At our Fingertips!
  • eBooks & Digital Collections
  • Multicultural Literature
  • Supporting Literacy at School and Home

Scott Wieskamp, Director of Facilities

  • A comprehensive master plan for LPS facilities
  • Update on construction across the School District

Wendy Rau, Supervisor of Health Services

  • School Nursing Practice
  • Collaboration to Support Students with Chronic Health Conditions
  • Trends in School Health Topics
  • Immunizations
  • Childhood Wellness Issues

Kathi Wieskamp, Director of Athletics and Student Activities

  • Educational-Based Athletics Programs – It’s More than a Game
  • Athletics and Activities – Important Role They Play in a School and Student’s Success.

Edith Zumwalt, Director of Nutritional Services

  • Nutritional Value of School Meals
  • Feeding Low-Income Students
  • Special Diets
  • How to Use Meal Viewer

Wendy Van, Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools

  • Why Community Matters when it comes to public education
  • Update on The Career Academy and other LPS community projects
  • Partnering with local schools for big impact
  • Leveraging resources for big change
  • Vital Signs: Collective Impact to support Lincoln Families

Jim Bennett, Coordinator of TeamMates

  • The power of mentoring

All of our LPS Curriculum Specialists can speak about their area:

  • Reading Language Arts
    Lisa Oltman, 402-436-1804, loltman@lps.org
  • English Language Arts
    Mindy Murphy, 402-436-1803, mmurphy@lps.org
  • Mathematics
    Josh Males, 402-436-1801, jmales@lps.org
  • Science
    Betsy Barent, 402-436-1802, bbarent@lps.org
  • Social Studies
    Jaci Kellison, 402-436-1805, jkellis@lps.org
  • Career and Tech Ed
    Jason Thomsen, 402-436-1819, jthomse@lps.org
  • Health and Physical Education
    Matt Avey, 402-436-1812, mavey@lps.org
  • Gifted Education
    Joan Jacobs, 402-436-1822, jjacobs@lps.org
  • Visual Art
    Lorinda Rice, 402-436-1813, lrice@lps.org
  • World Language
    Katie Damgaard, 402-436-1814, jswanson@lps.org
  • Computer Science
    Kent Steen, 402-458-3129, ksteen@lps.org
  • Music Supervisor
    Lance Nielsen, 402-436-1631, ldniels@lps.org